The Theoretical Scene, 1960-2000

Matthew H. Johnson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


This article examines changes in the scope, range, parameters, content, and rhetoric of archaeological theory during the period from 1960 to 2000. It explains that during the 1960s theoretical debate played a relatively minor role in archaeological discourse but by the year 2000 many, if not most, archaeologists had already appreciated the impact of theoretical debates on their work. It discusses the origins and rise of the 'new' or 'processual' archaeology in the 1960s and 1970s, and the subsequent formation and development of 'postprocessual' approaches in the 1980s and 1990s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Archaeology
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191743443
ISBN (Print)9780199271016
StatePublished - Mar 26 2009


  • Archaeological discourse
  • Archaeological theory
  • Archaeologists
  • Processual archaeology
  • Theoretical debate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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